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Occupational Folklife Project

The Submission Process

Once you have been accepted as a participant in the Occupational Folklife Project you will need the following instructions. The online submission of interview materials is pivotal to the success of the Occupational Folklife Project. Your accurate input of information about each interview is vital because it allows the American Folklife Center to process each interview quickly and efficiently. Receiving interviews is only half the challenge — we must also be able to retrieve the information you gather in the field in order to make it available now and in the future.

Not all the requested information will be shared with Library of Congress readers and researchers. Home contact information and other sensitive information are requested only for the Library's future communications with you or the interviewee. Participant names and year of birth are used to ensure the accuracy of the Library of Congress's catalog.

Vivian Jarrell
The importance of work in the home is often overlooked. Vivian Jarrell canning string beans. Photo by Lyntha Scott Eiler, 1996. Tending the Commons: Folklife and Landscape in Southern West Virginia, CRF-LE-C144-05.

Submitting Your Interview

The submission process has two parts:

  • Part 1 involves filling out and submitting the Interview Data Form online.
  • Part 2 involves sending your digitally recorded files to the Library.

Instructions for submitting digital files are given on this website as well as in Step 3.1 of the Interview Data Form. Digital files of interview-related images or a full transcript, (both optional), may also be submitted. In addition, you must obtain a signed Permission and Release Form [PDF, 1 p., 121KB] from the interviewee and send it to the American Folklife Center, either electronically or by mail or fax, as part of your submission.

Part I: Interview Data Form

Contact Folklife Specialist Nancy Groce at the American Folklife Center ([email protected]; 202-707-1744) if you are interested in participating in the Occupational Folklife Project. If you are eligible, she will provide you with the URL address and passwords required to access the Interview Data Form.

Once you access the Interview Data Form, a "Wizard" will guide you through the submission process. All fields have help or pop-up help boxes. Longer entries, such as the "Interview Log," may be written off-line and cut-and-pasted into the form.

The Interview Data Form is an online interface. It is not a form that can be downloaded to your computer. You must be online to enter data; however, you can complete the form over a number of visits. Your data will be saved from one visit to another. For reading and review purposes, you will be able to download the pages as PDFs, Word Documents, and/or web pages (html). In addition, submissions can be downloaded as delimited files that preserve the database fields: Excel spreadsheets, CSV, or XML.

The Interview Data Form includes the following Wizard Steps:

Wizard Step 1: "Register Organizations" will guide you through adding information about your organization to the database.

Wizard Step 2: "Register People" will guide you through adding information on both interviewer(s) and interviewee(s) to the database. A separate record must be created for each individual. Step 2 also asks you to select occupation(s)/job(s) worked by an individual during his or her career. You may select as many as are relevant. If an occupation discussed is not listed, use the "Other Occupation(s)" box to enter occupations that better reflect the interviewee’s experiences. Also, people sometimes identify themselves with occupations that they do not presently hold or work at only part-time. If this is the case, enter interviewee's preference in the "Self-Description" field.

Once information is added to the "Organization" and "People" databases, it will appear on the form’s drop-down lists and be available for you or others to use when submitting future interviews.

Wizard Step 3: "Create New Interview Record" will guide you through submitting information about an interview. Tips for completing this step are given below on this page as well as in the help and pop-up boxes on the Interview Data Form.

Wizard Step 3.1: "Add Information about Your Digital Files" guides you through re-naming and adding information about digitally-recorded interview file(s) so that they conform to Library of Congress standards. Information about images and transcript files related to this interview, both optional, can also be added during this step.

Note: You will not be attaching your file(s) to the Interview Data Form. Rather, you must re-name and transfer the digital file(s) to the Occupational Folklife Project online. Contact us for instructions.

Wizard Step 3.2: "Summary: Review the Accuracy of Your Interview Record" allows you to review the information you have entered and make any changes, if necessary.

Wizard Step 3.3: "Finalize: Permission and Release Forms" asks for confirmation that a signed Library of Congress Permission and Release Form has been obtained from the interviewee, and that the interviewer also agrees to the Library's terms and regulations. Select this link to review the forms and for more information.

After confirming the permission and release section, review "Interview Information" one more time. If you are satisfied, select the "Submit" button in the final box (you can also select "Save for Later" and return for future editing). When you select "Submit," the Interview Data Form will be sent to the American Folklife Center for processing. The Center's staff will use the "Interview Items" information you provided in Step 3.1 to identify and collect the digital file(s) you send us.

Please retain a copy of each interview for your own use and as a backup in case of problems with the transfer process.

Once you have submitted an interview, you will be able to read and download it from the website, but you will no longer be able to edit it. American Folklife Center staff will assist you if post-submission edits are necessary.

Louis McDowell
Louis McDowell, barber. McDowell's Barber Shop, Paterson, New Jersey. Photo by Martha Cooper, 1994. Working in Paterson, AFC 1995/028: WIP-RM-C073-03

Part 2: Transfering Digital Files to the Occupational Folklife Project

After you have submitted your Interview Data Form, contact us to discuss the best method for transferring your digital files to the Library.

More tips on completing the Interview Data Form:

Most of the information requested on the Interview Data Form is self-explanatory, and we have provided help and pop-up help boxes throughout. However, here are some tips that might be helpful.

The Interview Data Form fields marked with a star (*) are required. You will not be able to submit the form without filling in required information; however, the form will remind you if any essential information is missing.

Interview Log: a data box in Wizard Step 3 "Create New Interview Record," is the most time-consuming part of the Interview Data Form. You might want to prepare this off-line and then cut-and-paste it into the form. (This text field has a limit of 30,000 characters.)

A time-coded log is required for each interview. Such a log is essential for locating topics discussed in the interview. (Although a full transcript is not required, we are delighted to accept one in addition to, or in lieu of, an interview log, as long as it is also time-coded.) Select here for more information about Logging the Interview and a sample time-coded log.

In addition to the time-coded Interview Log, Step 3 also requests a short "Summary of Interview." Several sentences are sufficient. The Summary, as well as the multiple-choice boxes that follow it, which request information on language, topics, and genres, will assist the Library in cataloging your interview quickly and efficiently.

Step 3 also contains boxes for information on "Location (venue)" and "Additional Notes," if they are relevant to your submission.

To arrange for the transfer of digital files, or if you have any questions, problems, or suggestions regarding your submission, please contact Folklife Specialist Nancy Groce at the American Folklife Center ([email protected]; 202-707-1744).


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   September 30, 2014
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